Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration switches offers performance and intelligence at the access, distribution, and core areas of converged voice, video, and data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide remote and on-premises expertise with Catalyst family switches to assist you to design a cost-effective infrastructure that meets your unique business needs, configure proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sensible security and compliance strategy, streamline network management and monitoring, deliver troubleshooting and support services, optimize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions to achieve near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to manage and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade efficiently to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches following leading practices to make sure that you realize the highest business value from your investment in your network.

The demand for smart, fast switching is driven by a combination of fairly recent computing patterns whose net impact is a virtual tsunami of traffic:

  • Cloud networking and an associated requirement for intensive network virtualization
  • The proliferation of BYOD computing
  • Data guzzling HD video apps
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in enterprise data analytics

Cloud computing is only financially feasible because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce costs by permitting aggressively high hardware utilization and requiring very little real estate and energy use. But this also means that relatively sparse resources have to support substantial amounts of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has caused a steep rise in the number of mobile clients that have be supported by IT networks, and these clients run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social business applications are replacing traditional email as the primary driver for workforce collaboration and is generating a growing thirst for data. Businesses who want to stay competitive are adopting Big Data technology to search through enormous and disparate repositories of corporate data, which in turn generates Big Traffic. All of these trends are fairly recent, and put together they create a serious need for an advanced class of switches that feature significantly more performance, control, uptime and ease of management than older platforms were built to deliver.

Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution and core layers levels of campus environments where mobile and stationary employees must be supported with dependable high speed, strict access control, careful segmentation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the need for performance and intelligence with features that include high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching capacity of up to 11.4 Tbps per chassis and twice that for each switching system, an extensive suite of tools including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to facilitate the creation of VLANs, VSS technology for stateful failover with subsecond virtual switch restoration and 99.999% uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, AVC to optimize network resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for video traffic prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Organizations of All Sizes

Catalyst switches enable businesses of any size to build intelligent switching features into their network infrastructure, creating an ecosystem that can meet current requirements, expand to accommodate future capacity demands, protect vital data, and separate and control processes to optimize network operations.

Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and allows a variety of mounting options. The device incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and has an option for Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch housed in a sleek, noiseless and low-power unit that can be mounted almost anywhere convenient. Versions are offered with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplinks are available, and PoE+ power is also an option.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes value-priced fixed-port managed switches intended for branch offices, retail venues, and other places where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile appliances include 8 to 48 GE ports and two or four SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fanless operation for most versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S line by delivering switching throughput as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a hot-swappable module that can combine 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of using one device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring full wireless network controller functionality that allows you to control wired and wireless networks on a single device powered by a single operating system. Cisco offers versions with either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10GE uplink connections, and capacity for up to 9 switches per FlexStack stack. All models offer modular QoS, fast failover for maximum uptime, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security.

Because wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for a better user experience and quicker problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification using currently in-place cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi products, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed access points, refer to Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking throughput as high as 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless APs and 1000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch. The Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking performance of up to 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless clients on each switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, providing far reaching connections, advanced security, and a consistent wired/wireless experience.

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for access and distribution environments where space for networking equipment is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system, the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X families simplify network virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System (VSS) solutions. Virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into a number of virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the high resource utilization, protection, resilience, and simplified management required for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a single resource pool must be shared by software and services that need to run in total privacy from one another. EVN streamlines the process of creating VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds new technologies including VNET Tags and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to create zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes a built-in wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. this is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to allow wired plus wireless services on a single platform powered by IOS XE. Features include Cisco's FNF technology for application visibility across both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired and wireless security, identical QoS for wired and wireless clients, and the expansion of NSF/SSO to include wireless traffic for world-class availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, 193 1GE fiber fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported on each switch, and up to 250 APs and 4000 clients are managed in a dual-switch installation without requiring a standalone wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that deliver 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X can have as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the unit's baseboard and eight extra 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a total of up to 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10GE uplink ports are also available with a separate module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and simple manageability, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides increased system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all available bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional features include Flexible NetFlow solution for capacity planning, TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone switches that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of products, which were introduced over a decade ago and which have been continually enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive portfolio of compatible line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and commitment to ongoing enhancement preserves your infrastructure expenditures and permits you to upgrade your network with minimal service interruption or management staff re-education.

Shared features of Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for simple, centralized administration to put in place unvarying policy across a distributed environment, VSS technology for 99.999% uptime through multi-level failover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to facilitate client roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtual networking tools to partition distinct client groups and support the special security and QoS policy requirements of every group include L2/L3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for NAT NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with VPLS. For unified wired/wireless networking, the WiSM2 controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for distribution and enterprise core environments that need world-class uptime and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 GE ports. Available versions include three to 13 slots and accept a broad range of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless management, network monitoring, and security and compliance. Only E-Series models of Cisco's extensive line of 6500 switches work with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU form factor, includes 3 slots, and delivers as much as 180 Gbps of switching performance on each slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E can support 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 99 1GE fiber access ports, up to 34 10GE ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and can deliver 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, providing a system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can support up to 8 Tbps of switching bandwidth. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch supports up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, and up to 44 40GE access ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable core switches intended to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor device for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or midsize enterprise campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X switch supports as much as 2 Tbps capacity and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port concentration per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40GE connections. With VSS, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps switching capacity and support up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or as many as 20 40GE connections.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU chassis with 7 expansion slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching performance per slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching performance while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. an 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 40 40GE connections.

Legacy Catalyst Products Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have extensive backgrounds providing online and on-premises support expertise for legacy Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These legacy Catalyst switches usually cost more to operate and support than contemporary switches, provide lower performance and functionality, and for many cases can subject businesses to regulatory compliance and liability risks. Progent's consultants can help your business to manage and repair these older switches and can also help you to design and carry out non-disruptive upgrades to current models from the Catalyst line or to devices from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Older Cisco Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family of Switches
Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of fixed-configuration switches are designed for businesses with as many as 250 workers and provide the reliability, security, scalability, and features small companies require at an affordable cost. PoE support makes it simple to install network appliances like wireless access points and IP TV cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 managed switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus optional redundant power with automatic fail-over for additional dependability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to build a local wireless network rapidly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 family offers solid security against viruses thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCatalyst 2900 non-modular, managed Ethernet switches offer basic small-group connectivity for small to medium-sized companies. These wire-speed desktop switches deliver IOS Software features for basic data, video, and voice support at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 family of switches are compact, entry-level devices featuring eight Ethernet connections plus one integrated Fast Ethernet or Gbit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be deployed outside the wiring closet in space-constrained areas such as on or under a worker's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small businesses and branches. Available models offer either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and provide throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows up to four 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to act as one switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces administrative expense because of single-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability protects networks against IPv6 address interception and malicious attacks.

Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches HelpThe Catalyst 3560 family is a line of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet capability in 10/100 and 10/100/1000 Ethernet implementations. The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise network connectivity or branch-offices, offering both Gigabit Ethernet and PoE configurations for high productivity while streamlining the installation of key applications including VoIP, Wi-Fi, video surveillance, and building management systems. Customers can activate comprehensive smart services including quality of service, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast management, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional LAN switching.

The Catalyst 3560 Series is equipped with a robust array of features that permit network scalability and higher availability through IP routing plus a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol improvements designed to maximize availability in a Layer 2 LAN. Enhancements to the conventional STP Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Uplink Fast, combined with innovations like Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network uptime. PVST+ supports Data Link Layer load balancing on backup connections to exploit the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant design.

Important protocols such as OPSF, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and Policy Based Routing improve network capacity; PIM helps improve resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects data.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches Professional ServicesFor midsized organizations and enterprise branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch simplifies deployment of converged applications and adapts to evolving business needs by providing configuration flexibility, ability to manage unified network patterns, and management-free configuration of smart system functions. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-density 1000 Ethernet environments and includes a diverse selection of switches that address the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or mid-size networks.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series has the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced QoS, rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing support. The IP Services image offers a broader set of enterprise network features, including advanced built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for Gigabit interfaces. This technology is designed to respond to additions, deletions, and redeployments while providing consistent operation. Cisco StackWise technology unites up to nine individual switches into a single logical unit, using custom stack-interconnect cables and stacking utilities. The individual switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack operates as a single switching device that is managed by a master switch, chosen from one of the stack of switches. The control switch intelligently creates and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A working stack can accept new switches or delete old switches without operational interruption.

How Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the online or on-premises services of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch solutions for small and midsize organizations, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Consulting and support services available from Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst switches include pilot testing, system analysis, topology planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless unification, network management, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and data security and compliance testing and validation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have deep expertise with industry standards as well as with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies related to switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, OSPF, VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure experts also have deep knowledge of important networking technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security and compliance consultants can show you how to create an enterprise-wide security and compliance plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer optimal enforcement to your network security posture.

If you need the highest available Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, design, and implement a transition to Cisco's Nexus switches. To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Nexus Series switches, see Nexus Switch consulting and support offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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If you wish to ask Progent about professional assistance for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.